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Cold Snap, Possible Snowstorm Looming In Days To Come

Cold Monday

Tenth Avenue at 57th Street Monday night. Temperatures are expected to drop overnight, and a snowstorm could be coming Thursday into Friday. (Credit: Adam Harrington, CBSNewYork.com)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Cold air was moving into the Tri-State Area Monday night, and it could be setting the stage for the first major snowstorm of the season later in the week.

The high on Monday reached 45 degrees, but had dropped to 30 by the 6 p.m. hour. The temperature in Monticello dropped to 18, with a wind chill making it feel like just 6 degrees, CBS 2 Meteorologist Elise Finch reported.

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Overnight, the temperature is expected to drop to 21 in New York City, 19 in Wayne and Bernardsville, N.J., 11 in Purdys, and just 9 degrees in New Paltz.

On Tuesday, New Year’s Eve, the high is set to top out at 34 degrees, and the temperature will drop to 24 degrees – with a wind chill making it feel even colder – as the ball drops in Times Square.

The high on Wednesday, New Year’s Day, will top out at only 30 degrees. And Finch reported Thursday into Friday, a major snowstorm could be coming depending on where a low-pressure system ends up.

One scenario calls for the low-pressure system setting up just to the south and being joined by a second system. The low-pressure system would strengthen very rapidly, causing a significant snow event for the Tri-State Area.

But a second scenario calls for the low-pressure system setting up farther to the north and east, resulting in only minor snowfall for the Tri-State Area and a more significant snow event for New England.

And while conditions may be cold in the Tri-State Area in the coming days, it’s all relative.

In Chicago, WBBM-TV, CBS 2 Meteorologist Steve Baskerville reported the temperature at 6 p.m. Eastern Time was only 11 degrees at O’Hare International Airport – with the wind chill making it feel like 1 degree. In the northwest Chicago suburb of McHenry, the air temperature was just 4 degrees with a wind chill of minus 10.

New Year’s Eve will be a great night to stay inside in Chicago, with a daytime temperature of 13 degrees and a wind chill of minus 2, followed by a snowfall that will dump up to 5 inches in some areas and will be in progress when the clock strikes midnight Central Time.

But conditions in Chicago were balmy Monday compared with those in Minneapolis. WCCO-TV Meteorologist Lauren Casey reported the snow topped out at more than 2.5 inches Monday – on the very same day Twin Cities residents woke up to temperatures as low as minus 11.

The forecast low for Minneapolis Monday night was minus 14 – the coldest temperature the area has seen since 2011. In International Falls, Minn., the forecast overnight low was minus 27, and wind chills in Minnesota overnight could bottom out at minus 50.

And the high of 34 degrees Tuesday for New York City may seem downright tropical compared with the high for the same day in Minneapolis – a frigid minus 1.

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